New books about Xi Jinping thought and his early days spark creation of study groups

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/4 20:18:40

Several new books on Xi Jinping thought and his early days in the village Liangjiahe have been published in recent months

Xi Jinping thought is being studied in all corners of society, from local governments to media outlets, from university students to street cleaners

Books about President Xi Jinping are put in a prominent position in a bookstore. Photo: IC

Seventeen finalists gathered together, competing to see who could muster the most eloquence and emotion while reading a chapter of Liangjiahe, a book about Xi Jinping's early days in the eponymous village in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province where he once lived.

Their emotional recitations moved some of the audience members to tears, according to the Xi'an Evening News.

"I left my heart here." "Saying goodbye to Liangjiahe in tears." "Unforgettable Liangjiahe." These are the names of some of the chapters the contestants read. Among them is 82-year-old Shang Shouyan, who said the book should become essential reading for young people who want to serve the country and understand China.

 He hopes it will help young people cherish the life today that previous generations helped build.

The recitation competition was hosted by the government of Chang'an district, in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, in order to educate the public about the early life of Xi. The district has already organized over 150 recitation sessions among Party members.

According to Chen Xu, an employee at Chang'an district's Xinhua bookstore, the book was so popular among Party members that all copies sold out, according to Chang'an's public Wechat account.

A new wave of enthusiasm for the thought, teachings and life experiences of Xi, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, has swept across China in recent months.

A series of books, either explaining Xi's thought in different areas or documenting his early years, have been published since May, and study sessions have been organized in universities, local governments, media organizations and among the general public to allow more people to learn about his ideas and life.

A man is copying a book on Xi Jinping thought. Photo: IC

Liangjiahe days

On May 2, Shaanxi People's Publishing House published the non-fiction book Liangjiahe. The book, in four parts, documents Xi's early days in Liangjiahe, a village in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province where he once lived, and how that experience changed Liangjiahe, its people, and China in general.

Along with many urban youths, Xi was sent to Liangjiahe in 1969 as part of the nationwide "Down to the Countryside Movement" during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). Xi returned to Liangjiahe prior to the Spring Festival in 2015, which proved a boon to tourism in the village, reported the China News Service.

According to Hui Xiping, head of Shaanxi People's Publishing House, he received the task of compiling and publishing the book in September 2016, and had since made multiple trips to Liangjiahe and various libraries and archives in Yan'an city, Yanchuan county and Wenanyi town to do research. After the first draft was completed in January 2017, it was revised 45 times before the draft was finalized in March 2018, China National Radio reported.

The publication of the book was followed by a 12-episode radio documentary, also entitled Liangjiahe, by the China Media Group last Thursday. China Media Group, established this April following an institutional reshuffle, is the new broadcasting platform made up of China Central Television, China National Radio and China Radio International.

The series is adapted from the book and supplemented by extra video and audio materials, and each episode is 25 minutes. In addition to Putonghua, the program will also be aired in four dialects, five languages used by ethnic groups, and 12 foreign languages including English, French and Russian.

Xi's time in Liangjiahe is also a hot topic in academia. The Shaanxi Academy of Social Sciences published a notice on its website on June 20, announcing the launch of studies on what it calls "the great teachings of Liangjiahe."

So far, 17 topics of study have been announced, including the status and function of Xi's seven years in Liangjiahe in the formation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

Other topics include the relationship between Xi's seven years in Liangjiahe and Xi's thought on the environment, poverty alleviation and rural vitalization.

In order to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the CPC on July 1, many local government departments launched sessions to study the book.

In Yulin, Shaanxi Province, for example, the public security bureau organized an oral recitation of the book, in which Party members "recited the literary non-fiction book Liangjiahe with passionate language to remember Xi's seven years in Liangjiahe," according to Yulin's official Weibo account.

Even street cleaners are reading the book. According to the Xi'an Evening News, 61-year-old street cleaner Yuan Kaoxuan has read the book three times.

"Since I received the book Liangjiahe, I read a few pages whenever I have time, and often talk about my understanding with my colleagues. I've learned a lot and feel a sense of achievement," he said.

Journalistic thought

In June, a book on Xi's journalistic thought was published by the People's Publishing House and the Xuexi Publishing House, Xinhua reported.

Compiled by the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, the book is now available at Xinhua Bookstore outlets across the country.

Xi's journalistic thought was first compiled into a book in December 2017.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Xi raised a series of insightful new viewpoints, judgments and requirements to strengthen and improve the Party's publicity work, and come up with answers to a string of fundamental, strategic and overall issues concerning the long-term development of the Party's publicity work.

The book sparked a wave of enthusiasm in the field of journalism to study Xi's journalistic thought. Tianjin's municipal government, for example, organized a two-day training class for over 200 media professionals and teacher and student representatives from the journalism departments of universities, the Tianjin Daily reported.

Many media academics said Xi's journalistic thought is a useful guideline for media professionals in the age of the internet.

"Thought on online journalism is an important part of Xi's journalistic thought, providing a scientific guide and fundamental principle for us to facilitate work in online news and public opinion, " Xie Xinzhou, director of the New Media Research Institute of Peking University, wrote for the People's Daily.

"As the internet becomes the major battlefield of ideology, dealing with online public opinion should be the top priority," Xie added.

Tang Xujun, professor and director of the Institute of Journalism and Communication, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, wrote for the People's Daily, "Xi reiterated many times how important public opinion, especially public opinion on the internet, is to governance. This is a new area that classic Marxist authors did not mention, and a great highlight of Xi's journalistic thought." 

Other books

On May 17, 30 Chapters about Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, a book compiled by the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, was published by Xuexi Publishing House.

According to a statement by the Publicity Department on the same day, all levels of Party organizations, as well as institutions of higher education, should organize lectures and classes for Party members and college students to study the book to get an in-depth understanding of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

In June, an English-language book, Understanding China in the New Era, compiled by the Publicity Department, discussing important issues involving theory and practice in the implementation of the principles of the 19th CPC National Congress, was published, giving the international community an authoritative book on Xi thought.

Global Times

Newspaper headline: Looking toward Liangjiahe

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